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Louis Oosthuizen’s long eagle putt sets up US Open final-round thriller | Golf

A bunched leaderboard that made for limitless prospects on shifting day on the US Open acquired much more crowded on the high within the dying phases of Saturday’s third spherical.

Louis Oosthuizen deposited a 30-foot putt for eagle on the 18th inexperienced, shortly after sinking a 30-footer for birdie on the sixteenth, to vault right into a three-way tie for the 54-hole lead at Torrey Pines Golf Course alongside Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes and Russell Henley of the US and setting the stage for prime drama on Sunday afternoon.

Hughes, the 30-year-old Canadian who entered the event on a string of 4 missed cuts, leapfrogged up the board after draining a 63-foot eagle putt on the par-five thirteenth earlier than getting up and down from a bunker on the 18th to card a three-under 68 for the day.

Henley, the 32-year-old from Georgia who has received three titles on the PGA Tour however none since 2017, went off in Saturday’s last group and largely stood up to the stress of the midway lead, mixing 4 birdies with 4 bogeys for an even-par 71 to remain at five-under and on the tempo.

Eighteen gamers began the day inside 5 strokes of shock midway leaders Henley and Richard Bland and it didn’t take long for the family names to make their costs, most notably Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau.

Ten years to the day he broke his main championship maiden with an eight-stroke win on the 2011 US Open at Congressional, McIlroy opened the again 9 with three birdies in 4 holes and salvaged a bogey after flaying a drive into the yawning barranca that separates the North and South Programs.

After saving par from a greenside bunker on the sixteenth, McIlroy parred the seventeenth after which birdied the par-five 18th to match the low spherical of the event with a four-under 67.

“That is the one event on the earth the place you fist pump a bogey. Solely dropping one [on the 15th] was an enormous deal, and getting it up-and-down out of the bunker on 16 and making that birdie on 18 simply to get that shot again that I misplaced. Actually massive.”

He added: “Twenty-eleven felt like a stroll within the park in comparison with this. You already know, if I’m going to get one other US Open trophy, I’m going to should struggle for it a little bit greater than I did 10 years in the past.”

McIlroy was joined at three-under by DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion who drifted as little as five-over throughout Friday’s second spherical however managed to revive his title protection after making birdies Saturday on the primary, fifth and fifteenth holes. He’ll enter Sunday’s last spherical two photographs off the lead – similar as final yr at Winged Foot.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy completed the third spherical at three-under. {Photograph}: Sean M Haffey/Getty Photographs

That he solely managed to hit 5 of 14 fairways was immaterial: this was DeChambeau’s first bogey-free rating in 67 profession rounds at majors.

“You’ve acquired to be actually affected person out right here at these majors,” DeChambeau mentioned. “It’s one thing that’s not simple to do. My first few goes at majors, I used to be not profitable or anyplace close to profitable, and I really feel like I’m beginning to perceive main championship golf and how one can play it and how one can go about managing my sport, my angle and simply my endurance degree. If I can proceed to do this tomorrow, I feel I’ll have an excellent probability.”

For the unheralded Bland, who captured his first European Tour title in his 476th try final month, a storybook event lastly took a southward flip with six bogeys and no birdies for a 77, dropping all the way in which again to one-over for the championship and 6 strokes off the tempo.

“That’s the US Open: Some days it’s simply going to beat you up all day, and right now was my day,” Bland mentioned. “I struggled with my irons all day. I drove the ball fairly good, which is what you have to do. I simply couldn’t take benefit from there, and I didn’t actually give myself any first rate seems for birdies.”

Phil Mickelson, who turned the oldest ever main champion ultimately month’s US PGA Championship, was among the many early starters after firing a second-round 69 to make the lower following an opening-round 75. The six-time US Open runner-up wanted one thing particular to revive his fading hopes of finishing the profession grand slam in his hometown, however made just one fairway on the entrance 9 and 6 of 14 total en path to a 76.

Jon Rahm carded a 72 to take a seat at two-under for the week together with Scottie Scheffler (70) and Matthew Wolff (73). Former main champions Dustin Johnson (68) and Collin Morikawa (70) are among the many six at one-under.

They’ll all be chasing the leaders on Sunday with loads of possibilities on a course that expects to play much more tough for the ultimate spherical.

The 38-year-old Oosthuizen is not any stranger to the highest of the leaderboard at skilled golf’s 4 bedrock occasions: he was the 2010 Open champion and may boast runner-up finishes on the different three majors, together with ultimately month’s US PGA Championship.

“It’s a golf course the place something can occur,” Oosthuizen mentioned. “There’s numerous nice gamers up there that’s acquired an opportunity of profitable this, and I simply must exit and play pretty much as good as I can tomorrow.”

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